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Jul 1, 2012

Oven Fried Chicken








There is a shop in Ipoh, one of the northern states in Malaysia, famous for their salt baked chicken. And then there's the lesser known one just 2 roads away. I'd found it by accident trying to find the more popular shop. After buying one from there, we went further up the main strip and found the other. So, I had to buy another chicken. Why not? I need to compare, right?
And the verdict .... I like the one from the underdog. I can't quite put my finger on why I prefer that. It could be that it's more herbally, the chicken tastes more free- rangey (yeah, that's a word). You know how free-range chicken meat is a little tougher and stringier than commercially bred chickens? Well, it's like that.

Anyway, point of the post is, I've been trying to replicate the flavors at home and haven't had much luck. Sometimes, one may get all the spices and seasonings correct but it's in the tweakings of the proportions that can make or break a recipe.

Or, you might get lucky and have a fairy-blogmother send you the perfect concoction in a packet!
In this case, it was Elin of Elinluv's Tidbits Corner. (Thank you so much, Elin!) Actually, she sent me this a while ago and I've been happily using the spice mix in different ways and each time trying hard to get a nice pic to do justice to her generosity and kindness. But each time it gets gobbled up so quick, or folks complaining about the chicken getting cold and not too appetizing ... you get the picture ... or not.

This was also a technique I learnt from Shannon of Just as Delish ... Oven Fried Chicken. Yup, Oven + Fried. Nope, my brain ain't fried, just the chicken. I love this way of cooking chicken. Of course, it doesn't get as crispy as deep frying but there is a delicate crunch minus the usage of potfuls of oil. I hate deep frying. I don't hate eating fried foods, just hate doing it myself. You can get Shannon's version here.

I used what Elin sent me to marinade this. The original recipe calls for the chicken to be baked in a salt crust or as the packet of spices instructed, to use the foil included as a wrap. But, like I said, I'd used the oven-baked way instead for today. You can see how it's supposed to be done using the foil here, at Elin's.

Either way, it's easy, no hassle, no mess, no extra oils ... no kidding!

If you can get your hands on this packet of spices, I highly recommend it. For the folks who aren't of this world ... I mean, this side of the big blue .... try out this way of "frying". I'm very happy with it and I'm sure you will be too. Just use dry-ish seasoning and make sure the coating is sticky and not watery. That's all there is to it!



INGREDIENTS

2 whole chicken legs (with skin)
1/3 pack of salted chicken seasoning (scroll all the way down for pack) / or just use your favorite dry marinade
1 1/2 - 2 tbs cornflour



METHOD

Make slits (or not, I do that to make sure my chicken's thoroughly cooked through) on chicken. (See pic)
Rub marinade all over (chicken, of coz. Oh boy.) and into the slits.
Place in a baggy, seal and leave to marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours (not too necessary).
Preheat oven to 200˚C.
Rub cornflour evenly all over chicken. You'll want a sticky, paste-like coating. If it's too dry add a little water. (Too watery and it won't turn out crispy)
Place a rack (big enough to hold all pieces in a single layer) on a lined baking tray, place the chicken on top and bake, skin side up, for about 45 mins (depending on the size of the pieces) or until skin is crisp and nicely browned. (This is to prevent the chicken from soaking in the juices or fat).
Serve hot with a side of greens or whatever.

*Important note: This is best served hot out of the oven. If left too long, the skin gets chewy. Not advisable to make for the next day.











53 comments:

  1. Ping,I think I know the famous salted chicken shop that you mentioned as it is located just at the side of a busy street so for a person who doesn't live there also can find the shop easily!My mum lives in Taiping& every time when we went back to M'sia,we'll take my mum to Fu San to have dim sum,then will buy few of these salted chicken back for my cousins! Your chicken looks delicious,I can just eating that without the rice

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    1. Yes, Jessie, that's the one but I actually prefer the chicken from the other less famous shop about 2 roads just across from it. You mean you take it back to Oz? Wow! Didn't think they'd allow that to go through. But it's cooked, so I guess it must be ok.

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  2. Just saw you had a new post on Foodbuzz and it sounded delish. I would imagine the texture would be a bit like a roasted chicken with a crispier skin/outside and the moisture being retained by the coating. Would that be right? I never fry chicken myself but like it. This might be the perfect middle ground!

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    1. Hi Toni. Yes, you're correct. And this is so much less mess unless, of course, you're looking for super crispy skin, then deep fried is still the way to go. I'm happy with this tho :)

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  3. Mmmmmm....I love the crispy chicken without all the oil mess! And how sweet of Elin to send you the perfect seasoning. I don't think hubby would complain if he came home to this for dinner :)

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    1. Hi Lizzy! Elin is so nice. And yes, hubby really likes this, no complaints at all! :D

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  4. Ping! you were in Ipoh and not telling me :p LOL! we could have meet up for a drink :) Thanks for the mention and so glad that you like it. I can send you more if you like :) Just let me know ya ...dont ever paiseh with me OK :) Have a nice day!

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    1. Thank you so much Elin! I've tried so many other brands before and this one really is the best! xxoo
      Haha! No, I wasn't in Ipoh recently. It was way before I'd got this from you. And was only a day trip to see to some stuff. Next time I go and have more time, I will definitely tell you.
      Thanks again!

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  5. I love serendipitous restaurant finds like the one you describe in Malaysia, Ping. I also love serendipitous recipe finds, like this one. Great to have a 'fried' chicken recipe that doesn't have 20 million calories or stink the house up with the smell of cooking fat.

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    1. Yeah ... that was truly a good find! :) Haha! 20 million calories .... oh wow! I dislike stinking up the house too. This is a great way and I do it all the time now whenever we feel like fried chicken.

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  6. Ping, this is great! I love fried chicken but I also hate doing the frying. It really messes up the kitchen and the whole house smells. Must look for this spice rub.

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    1. Thanks, Phong Hong. Ya, deep frying does that, doesn't it? Pooh! Not sure if you can find that other than in Ipoh. If you do find it, please let me know.

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  7. That cornflour after marinating is something new for me.. I should try next time roasting your way :D

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    1. Yes, that seems to be the key step to getting the crispy skin. Hope you like this!

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  8. Mmm....looks great...wish i can have a bite

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    1. You can .... if you make some :)
      It's really easy.... I promise!

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  9. Thanks for the mention, Ping! your chicken sure look very crispy. I've never seen packed spices for salted chicken. I'm not really a big fan of salted chicken, maybe I'll try the oven-fried one. just have to get the packet mix from someone in Ipoh...

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    1. You're welcome, Shannon. Thanks for this great new way to "fry" chicken. We really love it!
      I've found some other brands of salted chicken spices but this one's just perfect for me. Who knows, maybe it's just my personal taste.
      FYI, the spices aren't for oven-fried, it's for the traditional method ... wrapped and baked, like how Elin did. I'd just used it to do it this way, your way.

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    2. I love oven-frying too! and having fun trying out different marinade.
      Where can I get the salted chicken spices in KL? yeah I have tried the wrapped & baked salted chicken, but not a big fan.

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    3. I haven't seen this brand around. There are other brands ... can't remember exactly where tho ... probably Jusco or Cold Storage. I will keep my eyes open the next time I go grocery shopping and inform you. I've also used this to steam chicken pieces with the addition of some Chinese Wine like this one:
      http://pingspickings.blogspot.com/2010/12/steamed-chicken-with-brandy.html

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  10. Quick and easy to make salted chicken using pre-mix, yours look good!

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    1. Yup, quick and easy is right :)
      Thanks, Sonia!

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  11. like your oven fried chicken without frying..hehe..saves oil, each time i do deep frying, i will be like ..haaiz..need so mcuh oil..you know i try to be stingy with my oil if possible..haha! oh, i know that shop you're talking about, the most famous one in town, still as busy as then but now more getting more competitors around the are, i think probably around 5-6 shops selling this salt baked chicken.

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    1. Thanks Lena. Yeah, I agree with you, that's one of the main reasons why I don't do deep frying. Seems such a waste of oil.
      Really?! Already so many shops around? Gosh, good, I guess. Then they won't be raising their prices anytime soon :) Good for us!

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  12. I like bake-frying many things instead of deep frying, not only less mess, but a tad bit healthier. This look really good Ping. I will have to look for the season packet on this side! :D It's so nice to have friends help you out. :)

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    1. Oh yeah, definitely a lot less fat here.
      Thanks, Lyndsey. I doubt you'll find that same pack over your end but any other brands or even your favorite dry marinade will do.
      It's really so sweet of Elin to send me some after I'd drooled over her pics :D

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  13. Ping, most of all I must say I'm once more in awe of your talent. You are such a unique photographer! I can very well see your photos hanging on my kitchen walls (I would only maybe avoid the ones that would make me crave sweets 24 hours a day ;-) ).
    Oven-fried chicken sounds so fabulous! I will try it very soon with my favourite mixture of spices. I bake cut up and marinated chicken very often, but I call it "baked" chicken. I suppose it's the cornflour that changes the whole idea! Thank you for the inspiration!

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    1. Awww ... thanks, Sissi. I'm totally flattered someone would want to hang my food on their walls :)
      Yes, the cornflour is key here and so is putting it on a rack to avoid it getting all soggy. I'd just added that bit in ... can't imagine I'd forgotten that crucial step ... whoopsie.
      Let me know how you like it when you do try it out. Enjoy!

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  14. The chicken leg looks beautifully golden brown and pretty crisp. Scrumptious!

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  15. I will be in Ipoh soon, will look for the dry spices. Will bring some more back for you too. Nice way of frying chicken no need to worry oil splatter on me. Why you so clever ar?

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    1. That would be great! Thanks Lucy!
      Haha! Not that clever to discover this on my own. It's the internet and my blogger friends that have made me smarter!

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  16. Hi Ping, love to eat salted chicken. First time I see this seasoning, have not come across any in JB.

    Love your oven baked chicken, it look so good. Save oil and save time cleaning the kitchen.LOL

    Have a nice week ahead.

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    1. Thank you, Amelia. Yes, it does save tons of oil and time for sure. You have a great week too!

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  17. oh yum! i will try this out soon - especially since my lunches are getting boring.

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. I hope you'll like it. It's super easy and no mess ... maybe some splatters inside the oven tho :)

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  18. Beautiful, crispy chicken and the seasoning givesit the perfect kick!

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    1. Hi Katerina. Thank you so much!

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  19. WOW, those are some gorgeous photos. Makes me want to get into the kitchen this minute!

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    1. Hi there! Thank you so much! And for coming by as well :)

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  20. I always root for the underdog too! :). The sound of salted chicken gets me immensely excited and I love the idea of 'frying' it in the oven... that's my kind of preparation! I will have to try your method - you've shared some great tips here.

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    1. Hi Kelly. I haven't missed regular fried chicken since discovering this way of "frying". Hope you'll try it out and like it as well :)
      Glad I could help.

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  21. Although the thought of turning on the oven at this time of year fills me with dread, I love the idea of getting a crispy fried chicken without the oil.

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    1. Oh ya, heard how awful the weather is. Hope it gets better soon. It's always hot and humid here so we're kind of used to it ... I have to turn on the AC when I cook ... ok, maybe not that used to it :)

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  22. Ping I never used corn flour for oven fried chicken, but I am going to try it, because your chicken looks fantastic!

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    1. Thank you, Zsuzsa. You sound like you've made this before. What do you use in place of cornflour? I'm still experimenting with different things using this "frying" method.

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    2. Wheat flour and sometimes panco.

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    3. Sounds good. A little like what Elisabeth does for hers as well. Unfortunately, hubby doesn't like crumb coated stuff. I will make it for myself one day. Thanks, Zsuzsa.
      Oh btw, I'm so careless!! Your comment on the frittata somehow landed in the spam box (wonder why that and not this) and there were 2 other real spam messages, so I selected all and deleted. Was scrambling to unclick and it was too late. Gosh, I'm so sorry, but could you resend that? Thanks so much!

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  23. It's so hard to get the flavor and texture of fried chicken and still make it healthier. But based on that top photo, it looks just great!

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    1. Thank you. I agree! I won't claim that this tastes exactly like the deep fried version but it is pretty good.

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  24. Ping-I can't believe I missed this post since my wrist "saga"...I always oven fry chicken, using my favorite wet marinade, and mixing flour and breadcrumbs together, by shaking the mix in a plastic large baggie with the chicken...and bake in the oven, spraying the chicken with canola cooking spray. I tell you, it bakes up crispy, and golden and has the flavor of deep fried...without all the excess oil!

    Love the marinade, wonder if I could order it online!
    Your oven fried chicken is yummy, and delicious! Will try it this way, as well. Can't get enough chicken recipes!

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    1. I'm game to try it your way as well. Unfortunately, hubby doesn't like breadcrumb coated things. I might try it when he's not around to eat :)
      I took a look at the pack for the ingredients for the marinade for you in case you can't get it online. There's some chinese herbs in it, not sure if you're into that.
      Angelica Sinensis, Chuanxiong Rhizome, pepper, ginger spices, salt and of course msg. I could send you some to try but I can't find them where I stay either. When and if I get my hands on some, I will. There might be some concerns over customs regulations tho.

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    2. Ping, glad you mentioned the ingredients; not to worry about sending me the spice pack, because we also have all kinds of spice packs here in our supermarkets, and in our Asian market, locally.

      I cannot use anything that has MSG because Lora is very allergic to MSG and sodium nitrate which a lot of smoked products has. When I make something in large quantities, its always making it at my daughter's because for my own self, I usually just prepare something in a small portion like fish, steak, or maybe a chicken breast, or sometimes take-out Chinese, or Thai foods. I only cook in large quantity when family eats at my little beach apartment on special occasions!

      Thanks so much for your offer...won't let you off the hook that easy, there will be other products that I would ask you to send me...same goes for you as well!
      Hugs,

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